We continued the Pathfinder RPG game set in the Puddles, a destitute area of the Island City of Absalom, yesterday. TE and I reprised our roles as Makoa Grogbar and Philo Greenwald, and MW continued as the game master. CM and DM couldn't make it and so we NPC'd their characters, Algernon Grogbar and Myles Laycock.
Since the last session ended in the throes of the mystery of Spring-heel Jack, we continued searching for clues. All the Puddles was asleep but we continued for our adventuring spirits were great. To make a long story short, we had found a piece of metal in Burgin's purse and Philo kept it because it reminded him of something. And that lead the group to the circus!
Marcolo is Philo's boss at the circus and in the dead of night, the group went to talk to him. The guard at the gate, Durgan, provided some info when we showed up. Marcolo had a guest and was still up, even at this late hour. When Philo showed him the metal, he reminded Philo that Marcolo had something similar.
As we approached Marcolo's travel caravan, we heard raised voices. Amergin (from the bar) and Marcolo were arguing. "They made a mistake, we won't make the same." and "It can't find us, we're safe." A few other comments were made before we knocked and Marcolo answered.
We explained that Amergin had put of a reward and we'd like the Puddles to go back to being the same crappy place to live, except without Spring-heel Jack. When Philo showed Marcolo the bit of metal and remarked how close it was to Marcolo's jewelry broach, he lied and tried to pass it off as a jeweler's fancy but we weren't fooled.
Amergin looked like he was going to spill but Marcolo gave him a hard look. The party walked Amergin back to the tavern, all the way trying to get him to open up, even mentioning Bergin's missing tongue and how sad it was that he was in the afterlife without the ability to speak. That didn't get much response from Amergin except some pretty white-faced stares.
During the course of conversation, Philo figured out (using his Bardic Knowledge) that both Marcolo and Amergin were from Cheliax and probably knew each other. Philo managed to trick Amergin into revealing that he was from Cheliax and then the party moved on.
We decided to track down Burke to find out more about Burgin and the piece of metal. Argus the gnome bootsmith told the group he remembered that Burgin and Burke's father was a successful merchant who got ruined and ended up in the Puddles. We found Burke drunk at his squat and proceeded to slap him around, asking him some questions. Burgin, it turned out, looked an aweful lot like their father, Ursian. That bit of metal was once owned by their father, who committed suicide by poison about 5 years ago. Their father never talked much about his past but their mother was from Absalom. Bad luck seemed to follow the family.
After the fun of slapping Burke around, Makoa gave him some more booze and the group returned home to discuss what they'd learned. They figured that the bits of metal were part of the symbol of Cheliax, a pentagram. At first, we figured there were 5 people in the mix but with 5 victims of Spring-heel Jack already accounted for, it seemed that there were 7. The pentagram symbol must have had the 5 points of the star and two half-circles. We decided to spend the next morning gathering info about the last 4 victims.
Before the Puddles woke up, Philo slipped out, back to the circus, where he picked up some red paint. A pentagram later on the door of the Soggy Bottom Tavern, Philo headed home. Around noontime, the group assembled at the tavern, where a great crowd had gathered to look at the pentagram. Wild speculation about Amergin's past, including the Mark of Cheliax started. Myles calmly made the observation that Spring-heel Jack must have marked the tavern and it's owners and when Amergin arrived to open up, he did a double-take and the crowd told him that Spring-heel Jack was after him.
The crowd started to get into that whole witch-burning frame of mind and Philo stepped forward to calm the crowd and convinced Amergin to delay opening in order to clean off the symbol. The crowd dispersed, for the time being, and the party joined Amergin inside. Philo told Amergin what they'd found out. That there were 7 victims, but only 5 had died so far. Velara, a whorehouse madam, Porche, an artist, Nicolo, a promoter, Galadin, a slaver, and Burgin, who looked surprisingly like his father Ursian, were the 5 and we figured that Marcolo and Amergin were the other two.
That prompted a scattergun being pointed at them. As Myles and Makoa started to move out of the line of fire, Philo calmly stated that we were Amergin's only hope, who else would help him? After all, we only had to wait for two more murders and Spring-heel Jack would be done and the business of the Puddles would return to normal.
That deflated Amergin and Philo managed to get the whole truth (or at least most of it) from him. The seven were all promised life and success in Cheliax for their souls. They broke the deal and managed to escape to Absalom. They also broke apart the pentagram, each having a piece of it as a protection against being found by a Cheliax hunter. And the hunter turned out to be a fallen angel sent from hell to collect their souls.
We decided to go get Marcolo and Amergin said he was still alive (the pieces of metal had a link to each other and they felt the others die when the demon came for them). Arming himself, Amergin locked up the tavern and we headed back to the circus. Using his Bardic Knowledge, Philo figured that there were two places that Spring-heel Jack would hide out, an abandoned bell-tower or the equally abandoned light house. That's were they were headed to finish this.
Marcolo would have nothing to do with us. We told him to man up and end it but he called us fools and Amergin an ass. During the conversation, Philo lifted his piece of metal and as we walked away, handed it to Amergin. One of the side effects of this metal was it absorbed your soul after death if it was in your possession and no one was interested in that.
A heavy mist descended on the party and we realized that Spring-heel Jack was coming. We raced back to Marcolo and he cursed us for stealing the charm but armed himself for battle. The party arrayed themselves around his caravan and waited.
A soft and polite voice told us that it wasn't our fight and we should leave. Philo, sensing an opportunity, calmly asked what was in it for us and managed to get an amused chuckle from Jack. The mist produced a pair of devils with attacked.
Combat was fierce. Argus provided the group with a powerful divine protection and Philo sang to inspire courage. Myles opened up with his rifle and managed to hurt one of the devils but it was still fighting. Algernon and Makoa fought against an animated rope and defeated it while the rest of us took down the two devils with the aid of a summoned Lantern Archon.
The session ended with the deaths of the two devils as Spring-heel Jack prepared to attack. It was a very satisfying game, Philo got to bitch-slap a drunk, Makoa got to chop up an animated rope, Myles got to shoot his gun and Algernon actually cast some spells besides Detect Magic. I'm enjoying the versatility of using cantrips all the friggin' time, especially Dancing Lights and Guidance, which are very helpful. The bardic abilities are also very cool.
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